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Small Town Fatigue

I feel like John Mellencamp's "Small Town" was written for me. Well I was born in a small town And I live in a small town Probably die in a small town Oh, those small communities I was born and raised in Kellogg, Idaho, and the Silver Valley area. I've lived here nearly my entire life. In fact, the only time I didn't live in Kellogg, was the 30 or so months I lived in Moscow, while attending the University of Idaho (Go Vandals). I spent my childhood on the tail end of the "Uncle Bunker" days and remember the good ol' days as though they were yesterday. I remember the sound of the shift siren at Bunker Hill, I remember the sound of trains as they charged through Kellogg on what is now the Greenbelt along aptly named Railroad Ave. I remember the smell of the smelter smoke and I can still remember when they would sprinkle slag on the roads for traction, which I learned later, is one of the most harmful things you can do to a car. I also re
Recent posts

PLN: Professional and Personal

Great Wall of China, 2014 A while ago, I blogged about my family , and shared it on my social media communities. Because it was family/personal in nature, I naturally expected more feedback and interaction from some networks such as Facebook, because they tend to be more "casual" or  "family" focused than some of my others like Twitter and Google+. Much to my surprise, a few individuals, who I know primarily through connections made in the Ed-Tech-sphere, read my blog, and commented. I was grateful, and moved that they took the time to not only read my post(s) which for the past 6+ months, have been predominantly family focused and more personal than professional, but they also replied and offered sincere words of encouragement. During one such interaction (on Twitter) I found myself apologizing for the nature of my most recent blog posts, because they were not "Ed Tech" focused. My gut level explanation was that this was "just where I am right n

Google Learner Academy

To say the last couple of months have been a blur would be an understatement. It really does seem like yesterday I got the email notifying me that I had been selected to attend the Google Teacher Academy. So much has happened for me and my family since then. It is hard to believe GTAMTV is upon us! Yes, I realize that there is no such thing as a technological "Silver Bullet" but the opportunities that Google Apps for Education has afforded my school district and me are too many to list. I'll admit it, I'm a full blooded Google fanboy and this is a dream come true. The funny thing is, despite the fact that my district has been a Google Apps District for 5 years, I neglected to connect with peers and apply for the Google Teacher Academy until this Spring. I can't explain the reasons why, and I regret the fact that I waited so long to apply, but the past is the past. It is time to look forward. So I'm now looking forward to tomorrow...  the Google Teacher

Reflecting on EdcampIdaho

On the eve after a super inspiring # EdcampIdaho I feel tired enough to sleep, but somehow I can't turn off my thoughts. So I guess I'll blog.  When the alarm went off at 5AM on Thursday, the day before EdcampIdaho, something other than the early wake up had me in an anxious state of mind. You know, when something you have anticipated for a long time has finally arrived, and at that very moment you get that combination of butterflies and some introspective thinking? I oftentimes wonder if I am unique in this way or of others experience this. But for a few moments, as I quietly got ready for a trip that would take me away from my family, including my new daughter for the first time, some random thoughts entered my brain.  Am I really making a difference in my job?  Will this trip be worth the time, money, effort, and time away from loved ones? (Thank you Dave Guymon for the great discussions on this btw) Am I in over my head?  Is education really "broken&

Idaho TLAP Book Study: P is for Passion

Part I - Chapter 1: Passion  Dave Burgess presents three questions in this chapter for us to answer. Q1: Within your subject matter, what are you passionate about teaching? I am no longer in the classroom, but I spent approx 9 years teaching middle school science and technology. I actually took the science teaching position because it was the first opening after I got my teaching certificate. I'm grateful because science was very fun to teach. But I wouldn't consider what I did "teaching," rather it was more like "lead learner" because I did not have a science endorsement. Looking back, I remember getting comments from other teachers that it was a detriment to not be "highly qualified" in the topic I was teaching but I found that it was more about the relationships and rapport and making science real and fun. I found that teaching science allowed me to model "lifelong learning" so that is what I was most passionate about for those ye

My thanks to our district for a day of unConference learning...

I have been meaning to write and publish this post for a long time, since February 15, to be precise. I was so moved and inspired by the learning and sharing that took place during our "Love Of  Learning" unConference Professional Development day that I wanted to reflect, share, and also thank those who were instrumental in making it a reality. Of course, first and foremost, you the learners were the most instrumental in making this a success, because without willing learners, it's hard to share and learn. One thing that we often take for granted when doing any form of PD or meetings is the behind the scenes work that takes place. The cleaning, preparing, decorating, installing is all usually something that we expect to be done, but we rarely recognize those who make it all happen. I'd like to thank and recognize the KSD391 Maintenance and Custodial crews for their help in preparing KMS for the day of learning. Mike Lawley, Aaron Miller, and Tim Etherton made